Close Reading

This essay could have gone better. It took me a while to find a thesis that I was satisfied with, which held up my work on the essay overall. For a while, I had a general idea of what I wanted to talk about because of the process assignments, but not an actual argument. This was problematic for me, as I tend to start all of my essays with a thesis, followed by a thorough outline, including what I want to talk about in each section, and some quotes to help me do it. Since I couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted to say in my thesis, I couldn’t form an argument. Once I finally had my thesis nailed down, I outlined my essay and used the quotes to prove what I was saying, and got started,

I also learned that I need to be careful when it comes to close reading. When trying to close read, I sometimes find myself drifting out of analysis of the words and into summary of what’s happening, because I feel like I need to contextualize what I’m saying or I can’t figure out what to say. While the context might prove something that I’m trying to argue, the close reading might not, or I might overlook it. I need to start close reading sooner in the process to avoid this.